For me, Pinot Grigio can be a hard wine to like. It can be so dominantly fruit forward — with its lemons, limes, apples, and honeysuckle — that it’s hard not to consider the typically dry white wine as, well, sickeningly sweet. Conversely, there are those Pinot Grigios that are so subtle, lacking any real mouthfeel whatsoever that, at that point, I may as well just be drinking water. Admittedly, my notion of Luna Vineyard Pinot Grigio fell into one of these two categories. I won’t even tell you which one because it’s a current non-issue now that I’ve tasted the Luna Vineyards 2015 Estate Pinot Grigio. Life with P.G. just got real.
About the Wine: I wrote my tasting notes before reading anything about the winemaking process. I was so intrigued by the tastes and textures of the Luna Vineyards Estate Pinot Grigio that I had to contact the winery and figure out what this was all about.
The Luna Vineyards 2015 Estate Pinot Grigio is made from 100% Pinot Grigio grapes harvested from Luna Vineyards’ estate Pinot Grigio blocks located in the Napa Valley. The grapes were whole-cluster pressed which, apparently, is a traditional champagne method. The wine was fermented in neutral French oak barrels then kept sur lies for five months. Clarification was performed by a series of rackings until bottled.
Flavor Profile: Surprising — to me — is that the Luna Vineyard Estate Pinot Grigio emits an aroma even while it’s still in the bottle. Even more surprising is it’s a subtle, wet stone minerality, like the sun kissing cement after a humid rainfall.
In the glass, the wine is, at first, perfectly clear. Pour a bit more and there’s a soft, peachy-yellow luminoscity. Initial aromas are of soft stone fruits (think mango, papaya, guava), along with that wet-stone scent picked up in the bottle. The fruits are neither boisterous nor cloying — in fact it’s as if that rainfall washed away any fruit sugars (yes I’m still talking about the aromas here), leaving just an essence of their oils and peels.
The palate is where the Luna Vineyards Estate Pinot Grigio really shines. In fact, the first thing you’ll feel is a sparkly tingle on the tongue. Those stone fruits stay in the background, adding just enough flavor to satiate. Even further in the background is something — almost — creamy or soft. Mixed with those subtle fruits, it’s reminiscent of that lemon creme you find sandwiched between two cookies. The element is so subtle, but it gives the Pinot Grigio a certain depth I’ve never experienced with this varietal before.
At the end of the day, this is a light, crisp white wine. Those sparkles felt on the tip of the tongue will linger there well after the finish, enticing you to take another sip and play with these flavors and textures all night long.
Food Pairing: I’m not going to lie — I enjoyed the Luna Vineyards 2015 Estate Pinot Grigio with a veggie pizza. I loved how the gooey cheese brought out that hidden creamy texture in the wine, giving the Pinot Grigio even more weight and body. Meanwhile, that sparkly minerality did well to cut through those same fats and oils.
I think the wine would also pair well with any kind of fresh seafood dish: crab-stuff mushrooms, butter-poached prawns, octopus salad, even sushi.
More Info: I received Luna Vineyards Estate Pinot Grigio as a sample for review. For more information about Luna Vineyards and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Luna Vineyards website.
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